- The German Banking Industry Committee (DK) is in favor of a critical review of the work of EU supervisory authorities in the financial sector. Germany's banks and savings banks therefore welcome the European Commission's initiation of a discussion on the future tasks and structures of three European supervisory authorities (ESAs): the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA). The DK believes that the discussion, to which it is contributing by issuing its own statement, opens up the possibility of addressing deficiencies revealed in the past and helping to shape the future direction of the ESAs.
The DK acknowledges that the ESAs have helped to bring supervision into line in the member states of the European Union. However, the DK has observed that they have repeatedly gone beyond the requirements laid down by European legislators and have tended to define their own mandates when it comes to guidance and recommendations. The DK believes that this needs to be critically examined. Moreover, the arguments for and against potentially widening the ESAs' powers must be weighed up carefully.
This particularly applies to the institutions' direct information and disclosure obligations vis-à-vis the ESAs. The German banks and savings banks emphatically reject the proposed extension of ESMA's responsibilities in the area of consumer protection. The DK emphasizes that ESMA has attempted several times to take political action and to undermine decisions made by European legislators – this is problematic in terms of democracy and the rule of law. Moreover, consumer protection is tightly enmeshed in country-specific legislation, e.g. in civil law, so the DK believes that national supervisory agencies are in a better position to ensure optimum consumer protection.
The DK sees further scope for greater convergence of supervision, especially of institutions with international operations. Unlike those operating at regional level, these institutions regularly identify differences in the practices of national supervisory agencies. These differences prevent the establishment of a level playing field for competition.
The DK is also in favor of retaining the ESAs' current funding arrangements. Relocating the EBA's headquarters to Frankfurt because of Brexit would be a sensible decision, one reason being that the EBA would then be nearer to the supervisor, the European Central Bank.
The DK's detailed statement can be found at www.die-dk.de.